Lemmy: 49% Motherfucker, 51% Son of a Bitch (video)

Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011

Motorhead is my all-time favorite band, and I have had the honor of meeting Lemmy himself twice. So it’s somewhat of an understatement to say that I had been greatly looking forward to seeing this documentary about the life and times of Motorhead’s main-man since the instant I learned it was being made. But I never stopped to consider who all would likely be interviewed, or how sparse the narrative would be. There is some of Lemmy’s history detailed here, but very little that any fan didn’t already know, and not much anyway, as we never get an in-depth interview with anyone, and often hardly more than a soundbite. There was no mention of Wendy O. Williams, Girlschool, or Lemmy’s acting career, to name a few glaring omissions. I suppose that it was good to see that Lemmy’s influence has been as far reaching as Billy Bob Thornton and Ice-T (which is perhaps not all that far, really, if you think about it), and of course there is an overdose of Metallica and Dave Grohl footage, as well as interesting snippets from Alice Cooper, Dee Snider, Jason Newsted, WWE wrestler Triple-H, Steve Vai, Lemmy’s son, and a few others. But almost all of the rest of the interviews are a torturous plethora of LA Butt Rock burn-outs. I could not possibly care less what C.C. Deville, Nikki Sixx or Kat Von D have to say about anything, even if they are talking about what a nice guy Lemmy is. And he has, personally and with Motorhead, influenced so many people and bands that I find it ridiculous that the scope of the people interviewed was not extended a bit more past the Rainbow and Sunset Strip. So, by the end, this was something of a mixed bag, with essentially no new ground having been covered and honestly quite a bit of annoying footage. However, close to the finish, the interviewer, backstage after a Motorhead performance, asked Lemmy if he had any regrets. Lemmy very quickly, but not exactly immediately, replied, “None,” but looked so monumentally sad saying it, and while the camera lingered for a second afterward, that I was sort of momentarily stunned. Throughout the movie, Lemmy was shown playing video games and slot machines, and watching Family Guy, as well as giving the documentary crew a tour of his small, cluttered apartment (he’s apparently a hoarder). He seemed to be fully alive only while performing (whether on stage or telling a joke), and this documentary felt like little more than a eulogy for a man not yet dead. I hate to not recommend anything involving my hero, but thanks to the sub-optimal execution, I don’t know if I can in this case.

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